How to Take Care of Your Mattress to Improve it's Lifespan
You should complete this declaration if you are 'chronically sick or disabled' and the goods or services are for your own personal or domestic use. A family member or carer can complete this on your behalf if you wish.
You can find out more from the Helpsheets on the GOV.UK website or by telephoning the VAT Disabled Reliefs Helpline on Telephone: 0300 123 1073. HMRC staff cannot advise whether or not an individual is chronically sick or disabled.
A person is ‘chronically sick or disabled’ if he or she is a person:
- with a physical or mental impairment which has a long term and substantial adverse effect upon his or her ability to carry out everyday activities
- with a condition which the medical profession treats as a chronic sickness
It does not include an elderly person who is not disabled or chronically sick or any person who is only temporarily disabled or incapacitated, such as with a broken limb.
For more information on VAT exemption please read this.
This is a quick guide to help you take good care of your mattress, to get the most comfort out of it whilst you are sleeping and to make sure it survives as long as possible.
It is very easy to care for your mattress but not all mattresses are the same. It is important to check when you purchase a mattress whether it is turnable or not and also to get some other basic care instructions.
Here we will take you through the basics on how to care for your mattress and also to identify when it is time to replace it.
Basic Mattress Maintenance
Through some proper mattress maintenance you can extend the life of your mattress and also make sure it is as comfortable as posible every night.
Taking care of a mattress includes knowing when to rotate or flip your mattress, ensuring your mattress has the proper support, and consistently cleaning your mattress to clear it of bed bugs, allergens and other contaminants.
Changing the sheets frequently and using a mattress protector can also help keep your sleeping surface clean and free of damage.
Rotating Your Mattress
Mattresses normally start sagging or develop indentations in the places where the sleepers usually lie (most visible with foam and latex based mattresses).
In order to balance this wear and tear you can rotate your mattress head to foot to ensure that the usage of the mattress is more evenly spread across it's surface. This prevents one area of the bed from growing softer than the rest and means that you break in the sleep surface more evenly.
Pocket Sprung and open sprung mattresses should be rotated every 3-6 months. Foam and latex layered mattresses should be rotated every 6 to 12 months.
Flipping/Turning over your mattress
Many of the mattresses we sell at Made to Last are pocket sprung mattresses or open sprung mattresses. Most of these are flippable and have been built with the comfort layers on both the top and the bottom side of the spring layers. This means that they can be used on both sides which extends the life of your mattress significantly.
Not all sprung mattresses are turnable so please check the care instructions on each of our product pages or contact customer services if you are at all unsure.
Many foam, latex mattresses tend to be designed with a softer comfort section in layers on the top and a firmer support core on the bottom. These mattresses are meant to always be used right-side up, and they should not be flipped.
With our range of sofabeds there are generally the choice of open sprung mattresses and a pocket sprung mattress.
The pocket sprung mattresses are designed to be flippable so you should flip these over and also rotate head to toe every 3-6 months. This will ensure greater comfort and longevity.
The open sprung (fully sprung) mattresses are not designed to be flipped. These should simply be rotated head to toe once every 3-6 months to improve their longevity.
Changing Your Sheets and Bedding
Washing your sheets and bedding is important for hygienic reasons, and it will also help protect your mattress from damage.
Sheets, blankets, and pillowcases naturally accumulate sweat, body oils, and other dirt that you pick up throughout your day, which can gradually seep into your mattress if the bedding is not regularly changed. Bedding also attracts dust mites and other allergens, which may disrupt sleep for individuals with allergies.
In general, you should wash your sheets and pillowcases about once a week, or more often if your pets sleep with you.
For items that do not come into close comtact with your body you can wash less frequently. Comforters and blankets should be washed every 2 to 3 months, and pillow inserts every 4 to 6 months, depending on the type of pillow. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for how to wash your bedding items.
Using a Mattress Protector
A mattress protector fits onto a mattress under the fitted sheet. Mattress protectors and toppers are often used for comfort as well as being designed as a barrier to keep dirt, sweat, dust mites, moisture, and other contaminants from entering the mattress. Most mattress protectors are machine-washable.
The majority of mattress protectors are waterproof or water-resistant, designed to prevent spills or bodily fluids from reaching the mattress. By keeping the mattress dry, a waterproof mattress protector can also help prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
Mattress protectors are different from mattress pads or mattress toppers. A mattress protector’s main purpose is to keep the mattress clean, whereas mattress toppers add a layer of cushioning and mattress toppers adjust the mattress’s firmness. While pads and toppers are not meant for protection, they can still help reduce some wear.
Using a quality bed base
Mattresses need to be paired with a solid bed base to prevent uneven weight distribution, which can lead to improper spinal alignment and potentially damage the mattress.
Cheap bed bases may not have adequate support for your mattress.
Traditionally, bed bases contained box springs, which added bounce as well as support. Today, most bed bases have solid foundations or slatted bases. These are fine for sprung mattresses as well as for foam or hybrid mattresses.
How to Clean Your Mattress
As well as washing your bedding, you can also consider cleaning your mattress once every 6 months. You should receive care instructions with your mattress.
The following are some more general cleaning tips that will apply to most mattresses.
General Cleaning Steps
After you have removed all of the bed sheets and any mattress protector/topper, you can use your vacuum cleaner’s upholstery attachment to vacuum the surface and sides of the mattress.
Blot any stains with a gentle cleanser, followed by a clean cloth dipped in cold water. Be careful not to get the mattress too wet, especially if it’s a memory foam or polyfoam mattress.
Allow the mattress to dry, and then apply baking soda to the surface of the mattress to soak up any lingering smells. Give it a few hours to fully absorb, then vacuum up the baking soda using the upholstery attachment. Repeat the process on the other side.
Spills and Accidents
If you spill something on your mattress then is best to clean it as quickly as possible to help prevent the stain from setting into the mattress fibres. Depending on what kind of stain it is, you may try using dish soap, vinegar, a solution of hydrogen peroxide, or a commercial enzyme cleaner.
If you use a mattress protector, you will be able to get away with cleaning your mattress less often.
When to Replace Your Mattress
Even if you take very good care of it, your mattress will eventually need to be replaced. On average, a mattress lasts between 7 and 10 years before it loses its supportive and pressure-relieving capabilities.
Pocket Sprung mattresses tend to last the best as they are generally for use on both sides and can be turned frequently. They can be used for about 10 years on average.
Latex mattresses also have a good lifespan, lasting 7.5 to 8.5 years on average.
Foam mattresses last between 6 and 7 years, and hybrid mattresses last from 6.5 to 7.5 years.
However, these numbers can vary significantly depending on the material quality and design, the sleeper’s position and body type, and how well you take care of them.